At Bradgate Brides, we wish to make the experience of purchasing your wedding gown a wonderful and stress-free time. We've therefore put together a list of many questions that brides are likely to ask. We hope this is useful to you and clears up any misunderstandings about purchasing your wedding gown or bridesmaid dresses from our salon. If you have any further questions, please email us and we'll do our best to respond quickly.
What is different about Bradgate Brides and why should I visit your salon?
There are many reputable and non reputable bridal salons within the area and it is important not only to purchase a gown that you fall in love with, but also we believe to have a great experience and most importantly trust the salon that you are ordering your dress from to be able to assist if anything goes wrong at all. It is not always plain sailing and you need to know that you can pick the phone up and be totally reassured that everything will be okay. Bradgate Brides have never missed a single wedding in 10 years and we serve over 500 brides per year plus many more bridesmaids and groom’s parties. Our reputation is long standing and we serve sisters and maids that have been into the salon with brides from years back and we are very proud that they select us as the bridal salon to purchase their gown from. For example last month we ordered 32 bridal gowns and 20 of those brides were first time visits and more importantly 13 had never been into any other bridal salon before. This shows that our selection of gowns is outstanding and our customer service is excellent enough for those brides not to look any further.
Do I need to book an appointment?
It is strongly advised especially if you are not local. If our stylists have already started serving someone, each bride generally has up to 1.5hours and sometimes longer and it would be a long time to wait. However during the week it can be quieter so walk ins are encouraged, even if it is to look at the salon and our collection and arrange an appointment for a future visit. Saturdays are busy, but cancellations are common the night before so you can always call at around 9.45am to check for these appointments.
What should I bring along with me?
Just yourself! However it is advisable to wear light underwear, strapless bra if possible and a pair of heels that are a similar height to those you may select to wear on your wedding day. First visits may be offered discounts so either a relative or friend who can help make your decision with you regarding your gown would be beneficial as it is always difficult choosing by yourself. However we do NOT recommend too many guests with you as then there are too many opinions and none ever to our experience are the same and this confuses a bride far too much. Leave this visit for when you have your favourite two or three gowns or show them on the visit to look at bridesmaid dresses.
When should I start looking?
We have brides looking 8 weeks before a wedding and brides looking 2 years before a wedding. Different personalities means different choices on when to start looking. Some brides are very organised and like to look a long way ahead of the wedding. This is fine, however, if a gown is discontinued and the bride comes back to order 6 months later, she has to start the process all over again and it can be a waste of time for everyone and very disappointing for the bride. This can be overcome by paying a small deposit so that you are on our system, payments are gradual and remeasures are later on. If a gown is discontinued you are called in to be measured and your gown is ordered and we agree to store it for you. However the usual time is around 12 months before the wedding with delivery 3 or 4 months before . Very laid back girls will buy off the rail right up until their wedding day almost. Anything is possible but the majority of brides would stress at this point. Personally I would look 12months before, have it delivered 6 months before the wedding date and in that way I am assured that if the gown needs to go back to the designer for any faults it leaves plenty of time for this and for alterations.
What size bridal do you stock for me to try on?
Size 10 to size 18 for the majority of our gowns. However we do have a number of designer gowns in size 20 to 24 that suit the fuller figure AND our new own designer label BRADGATE BRIDES PLUS is due in store from February 2012 in sizes 18 to 28 . All designs can be ordered up to size 30 or 32 and a made to measure service is available on most styles. All gowns are available also in size uk 6 and uk8.
When should my fiancée come into look at suits?
Generally just after the maids have chosen their dresses, 4 to 6 months before is fine.
When do we collect the suits?
The suits arrive about 2 weeks before the wedding for you to try on. If they are fine, they can be taken away , otherwise we replace for you usually within one week. They need returning within one week of the wedding date unless travelling abroad.
I have all different shaped bridesmaids, can they have different dresses?
It is recommended that the maids all try a different style on to suit their own shape but stick to the same material and colour . This works extremely well. It can get quite mis matched once various styles are placed together in a different fabric and shade.
I have a 10 year old niece who is very grown up , what do you recommend?
All of our designers for bridesmaids have a selection of Junior maids which are replicas of the adult styles, usually with the addition of straps.
Does my 5 year old have to wear a net flower girl or is there another option, she’s a bit of a tom boy?
Alfred Angelo have just a selection of dresses that match the adult style and start from 2 years old through to 7 years old.
When shall I bring my flower girl into be measured?
You need to leave measuring as near to the wedding date as possible but not so close as to incur a rush cut fee. Depending on which designer you select you can leave it as late as 10weeks before the wedding. However some designers are on a 16 week standard delivery. Please check with your stylist. However it is advised that all adult maids order their dresses much sooner as they may need alterations.
Do you have larger bridesmaid samples instore?
Yes we have a large selection of dresses from size 18 through to 24w and many also in smaller sizes so that both shapes of maids can try on at the same time.
Do I get any discounts for 4 bridesmaids?
We generally give a discount or a free of charge dress for our own brides and customers purchasing 3 or more maids dependent on styles and amount of dresses ordered.
Do you store any gowns once they arrive?
Having so many gowns in our salon is a huge responsibility and one we do not take lightly. It is preferred that once delivered and checked, either the customer takes their gown away to store themselves, or if alterations are booked in within 8 weeks we shall store the gown/dresses under our insurance or we can store long term for a small cost which helps towards the insurance premium. The majority of brides that order early tend to store themselves if possible or at their mum’s house and bring it back 6 weeks before the wedding at another fitting for alterations. However if the gown is delivered fairly close to the wedding date, it is stored free of charge. We suggest brides having their own wedding insurance which will cover all eventualities regarding the dress if they store themselves or are travelling with the gown. Of course if it is a problem i.e. bride moving house etc, we will always assist.
What is actually included in the cost of a gown?
If the full recommended price is paid for a gown, the following is included: fittings, bridal bag, heavy wooden coat hanger, steaming, preparation, and of course the gown itself. Alterations are not included as all our seamstresses are self employed.
Do I receive a contract or receipt?
You will be given a copy of the booking contract. This is signed by yourself for the goods that will be made for you. It is important that you check all details, expecially the size and delivery date. We have 7 days from sending the order to the manufacturers to change anything. After then, it is extremely difficult to alter any of our order with them at all and even if we can, they pass onto us massive penalty charges which will be passed onto the customer unfortunately.
What if I change size?
Unless you have paid extra for a made-to-measure gown, all garments are due to arrive in the size stated on your booking sheet and agreed with your stylist. If you have asked for a smaller size than you are at present, please make certain that you have approximate measurements of the gown that you have ordered from your stylist to work towards. If the gown arrives and it is too small, we cannot send the gown back and you will have to pay the full balance. However, the majority of gowns can be altered quite easily, so don't panic!
What if I wish to pay my deposit but I'm on a diet and know I'll lose more weight?
In this instance, a stylist will measure you, fill in all appropriate paperwork, and take a first payment, and then work out when your very last date is for a re-measure to order the gown in time for your wedding. You will then be contacted to make an appointment for your final measure. Sometimes this can be another 12 months after the first measure if the gown is ordered well in advance.
If I find a gown I love but my wedding day isn't for another 16 months, should I buy my gown now, isn't it too early?
Brides that look for their gown and have no intention of ordering a gown for another year are really wasting their time looking unless they wish to have the benefits of ordering early. Unlike the High Street, wedding gowns take a few years to go out of fashion. So if you find your special dress, we feel that you are OK to order. In this way, you are certain that if the gown is to be discontinued, we have you on our system to contact you to come in for your final measure. You can also spread the cost, and have more time to concentrate on all the other items you need for your wedding. Also you have something to aim towards if like one of our brides who went from a size 24 to a size 16 and came in four times for re measuring before the gown of her dreams was ordered!! She knew she loved the gown and went for it! A final measure doesn't have to be done for at least 12 months generally as the chances of the gown being discontinued are slim and as mentioned we would contact you immediately in any case.
When will I know my delivery date?
It takes up to 4 weeks for us to be given a delivery date. If you'd like to contact the office after this time, an 'earliest delivery date' can be given to you. Please note, this could mean 2 weeks after the date given to us. Some bridesmaid dresses may come in much earlier than expected. There is no set pattern to this, so you must be aware that you may have to check and pay your balance earlier than anticipated in some cases. In these instances, Bradgate Brides will store your dresses or gown free of charge up until your original given delivery date, however payment will still have to be made on arrival.
When is the best time after I've ordered my bridal gown to order bridesmaids dresses?
This depends on the designer. Some take 16 weeks, so leave 5-8 months. Others take only 10 weeks, so leave 4 months. Whichever style you select, your stylist will assist you. You can also make use of the rush cuts at an extra cost if you desire which are approximately £35 per bridesmaid gown extra and bring the gown in up to 4 weeks earlier than standard delivery.
For any further questions please contact us.